What are wood shingles called?

wood shingle roofing

Quality, natural protection

There are many different types of roofing materials today and choosing the one that is right for your home and budget is important. Among the choices in roofing materials are: 

  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Clay Tiles
  • Concrete Tiles
  • Metal Roofing
  • Slate Tiles
  • Synthetic Materials

…. And the one we’re going to discuss here today is Wood Shakes and Wood Shingles. Each of these roofing materials have their pros and cons, but what is the difference between wood shingles and wood shakes?         

Red cedar is the most common of woods used for wood shakes and wood shingles. The manufacturing and the installation are where the most difference is determined wood shakes and wood shingles. In regard to the finished appearance after manufacturing, wood shakes are thicker than wood shingles with the wood shakes following the wood grain closer. Wood shakes have an uneven surface where wood shingles have a smooth surface. 

How do you make wood shingles?

The wood shake shingle is actually hand-split from a log, first creating a block shape, then one-inch slats are made from that block. They are hand-made with a special tool or they are made by machine using a hydraulic press. The cedar block is split without flipping it over so that the thickness is uniform in each wood shake. 

Wood shingles are manufactured from a block of wood too but by using a circular saw. The wood shingles are made from a tapered cut in the same thickness. Then a second saw trims the edges to remove any irregularities, resulting in tapered wood shingles.

When it comes to wood roof construction and how wood shakes and wood shingles are installed, the differences continues. Wood shakes are installed by overlapping layers of the roofing felt with the wood shakes. Wood shingles however, strips of wood are placed over the roofing felt and the wood shingles are installed over those wood strips with the thick ends. This allow the wood shingles to dry faster after a rain.         

Are wood shingles good?

Like anything that is left out in the weather, a chemically treated wood shake or wood shingle will last longer than untreated wood shakes and wood shingles. Between the two, the wood shake will have a longer lifespan. Both treated cedar roof versus asphalt can give you as long as thirty years under ideal conditions, with the cedar wood shingles being insect resistant but affected by a lot of rain. When it comes to a wood roof, pros and cons are mixed: 

  • Aesthetics: The overall appearance of a natural wood shake or wood shingle roof is hard to ignore. For an older, traditional style house, wood roofing would  be historically appropriate choice. 
  • Longevity: The life expectancy of wood shingles can be tricky due to the various factors. Among those  factors is the installation, maintenance, material quality, climate, environment, and foot traffic. Another factor that will enhance the lifespan of wood shingle is being chemically treated. 
  • Durability : Wood shingles are insect resistant, but significant amount of rain are not good for wood shingles because they are mildew, mold, and rot prone. 
  • Cleaning: Where algae is the asphalt shingles enemy, wood shakes stand up to it better, with only the appearance affected more than the protective ability. Cleaning wood shingles can be done by mixing bleach and water then applied with a gentle power wash. The best way to have your wood shingles cleaned is by a professional that has experience in wood shingles. 
  • Flammability: Wood shingles are often forbidden in many building code standards are they are considered a fire risk due to their history over the years. Today, wood shakes and wood shingles are pressure treated with a chemical preservatives and a fire retardant. The change in pre-determined attitudes is a work in progress.
  • Hail and Wind Resistance: Wood shakes and wood shingles are hail impact-resistant and can withstand wind speeds to 245 miles per hour. 
  • Maintenance: Wood shakes and wood shingles are high maintenance, starting with their need to be cleared of branches, debris, leaves, and anything that keeps them from breathing. Gutter cleaning is an absolute must on a regular schedule and roof ventilation is a must. 

Application of a topical treatment can be used to repel water and minimize UV rays. Matching single pieces of wood shakes or wood shingles can be hampered by the existing shakes and shingles graying because of the water and UV rays. 

Moss growth on wood shingles will cause the edge to curl or lift, making them vulnerable to high winds. Using a 50/50 mixture of laundry liquid chlorine bleach with water  and a low-pressure sprayer will remove the moss without damaging the wood shingles.

  • Curb Appeal and ROI: Curb appeal is all about creating property value, and wood shingles can do that instantly, especially if the surrounding homes in the neighborhood are older architect have wood roof designs.
wood shingle roofing

How do you replace wood shingles?

The best and highly recommended way is to hire a professional roofing contractor to replace the wood shingles.  However, it is a project that a handy DIY homeowner can do with a few simple steps: 

  1. Using a shingle ripper, slide it under the broken shingle until it isn’t visible then lift carefully.
  2. Measure the gap width left and subtract  3⁄8″ to ½” to allow contracting and expanding of new shingle. 
  3. Slide the new wood shingle in place leaving a butt end of  ½” to ¾” longer than the wood shingles adjacent to it. 
  4. With a block of wood placed against the replacement shingle butt end, hammer it into place.

How long do wood roofs last?

 When professionally installed and properly maintained, wood shingles can give you a lifespan of thirty years or longer. The climate and environment can factor into this lifespan, but maintenance is the key to longevity. Call 828-808-5955 today for your wood shingle roofing needs in Asheville, NC.